Thanks for the long and informative post. I checked Broadfoot's listing of men with that surname and found three or four hits, without hitting just on that name. I frankly assumed the surname was French, not Spanish, but I assumed it could be either. A. J. Speer was my great-grandfather, but he died in 1918, long before I was born, and I am long in the fang myself. My granddaddy never mentioned the story of the Lousiana soldier; I found the article while I was searching for "stuff" on that side of my family. Incidentally, although the family always claimed that he was a surgeon in the Confederate army, I can find no record of it, but I have copies of records of the 2nd N. C. Hospital which indicate that he was assigned there as a hospital steward, after having been conscripted. He was a physician in civilian life, but I cannot find evidence which convinces me he was ever appointed as a surgeon or assistant surgeon, CSA. I don't doubt the basic truth of the story, but he may have gotten some of the details wrong.
But all of my old great uncles and aunts never failed to point out the hospital whenever I was with them in Columbia. It was -- and is -- located on the campus of the University of South Carolina (then South Carolina College), was later used by the University as its first basketball gymnasium -- we played intermural basketball there in the 1960's -- and has since been renovated and made into a fine arts performing theater, named Longstreet Theater for the author, not his kinsman, the general.
I have not followed up on the story other than to give the article to members of the Wade Hampton Camp in Columbia, and they are relentless in identifying, marking, and decorating the graves of Confederate soldiers. However, one of the few landmarks in Columbia which was not burned by Sherman in February, 1865 was, I think, St. Peter's Catholic Church. If their records survive, they may have a record of the interment. I will try to contact the appropriate people there.
I have no access to Lousiaian service records whithout paying for them, and I would appreciate it if you have access to the Compiled Service Records for LA soldiers to check out that, as well as the 1860 Census.
Happy New Yera to all!!